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Oh, I hate mummies.

Rick O'Connell regarding the mummy's minions upon destroying his car., The Mummy Returns

Mummies are remains of once-living creatures, from humans to animals, that have been preserved by any number of means so that the remains will not decay in different conditions. Mummies occur worldwide, notably in Egypt, and were often thought to be affiliated to curses.


Though mummification occurred worldwide, the most notable mummies in history were a result of ancient Egyptian burial customs, with other mummies occurring in China and Peru. The process went out of widespread practise centuries later, at which point most in the world were uneasy with mummies, most taking seriously their death curses or tomb warnings, believing their curses to have power capable of ending lives.


The Afterlife being held in such laud, ancient Egyptians would prepare their deceased by embalming their remains with spices and perfumes, removing the organs, wrapping the body in linens and laying it to rest in a sarcophagus, often equipped as well with a chamber in the tomb filled with treasures that the departed would need in the Afterlife. Egyptian mummies were often created when a high-ranking individual such as a pharaoh or other dignitary, died, though others would sometimes be buried alive, from sacred animals such as cats and crocodiles to slaves, and on a single occasion, blasphemers such as the High Priest of Seti I, Imhotep, would be subjected to a process of mummification known as the Hom-Dai, a process that was so feared that it was never invoked before, attached to the Ten Plagues of Egypt.

Dissimilar to ancient Egyptian customs: in ancient China, mummies occurred when human remains were entombed in a cool, dry place free from exposure to fresh air, such as the warlord Han, who was entombed in a terracotta effigy, and in Peru, where mummies occurred as a result of human sacrifices performed at high altitudes.


Is he supposed to look like that?
No, I've never seen a mummy look like this before, he's still, still...

Rick O'Connell, Evelyn and Jonathan Carnahan regarding the remains of Imhotep., The Mummy

Typically, mummies appeared as well-preserved remains that displayed considerably less decay than non-mummified remains, though exceptions existed: Imhotep's remains were found to be moist, a trait unusual among mummies in Egypt, and Han's remains appeared as a charred, almost-skeletal figure preserved by a moving terracotta figure. Mummies could, with the correct know-how, be brought back to life: the Book of the Dead being one means of bringing mummies and those deceased back to life, and the Eye of Shangri-La, an artifact filled with water from the land of Shangri-La being another.


Egyptian Mummies

The most common kind of mummy; the Egyptian mummies were preserved via the removal of vital organs, drying out the body with all manner of saltsand herds, embalming the body in seasoned bandages, and storing the body in an airtight casing (commonly a sarcophagaus).  Several forms of Egyptian mummies were ressurected as the Undead; Imhotep, Imhotep's Priests, Anck-su-namunthe Soldiers of Amun Ra, and the Cannibal Pygmies.

Chinese Mummies

Though the Chinese never mummified their dead, an unnatural variant of mummy was created in Ancient China, when a sorceress cursed Emperor Han and his army.  They were enveloped in mud, which caught fire and became solid.  The resulting "statues" were buried in a secret tomb for centuries before activation.

Peruvian Mummies

The mummies of Peru were the results of human sacrifices performed at high altitudes.  Before these mummies were discovered, Jonathan Carnahan (weary of his encounters with mummies in Egypt and China) wanted to move "somewhere with no mummies", and went to Peru.  It is unknown if any of these mummies were the undead like the aforementioned mummies, though it is implied. 


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